Declarative UI process and UX teams?

24 Apr 2007 - 4:32pm
7 years ago
3 replies
497 reads
Billie Mandel
2005

Hi all -

Question of the day: if the development process of your product is using
a declarative UI strategy, what does that mean for the UX design team -
assuming the designers are not, in fact, the same people as the
developers?

How do designers work within that strategic framework? What's our
value, if everything is so modularized that it can be (and probably will
be) changed on the fly by the product's customers?

Thoughts?

Cheers,
- Billie

* * * * * * *
Billie Mandel
Manager, User Experience Design & Research
OPENWAVE
billie.mandel at openwave.com

Comments

24 Apr 2007 - 5:24pm
Chris Hunter
2007

On Apr 24, 2007, at 4:32 PM, Billie Mandel wrote:

> Question of the day: if the development process of your product is
> using
> a declarative UI strategy, what does that mean for the UX design
> team -
> assuming the designers are not, in fact, the same people as the
> developers?
>
> How do designers work within that strategic framework? What's our
> value, if everything is so modularized that it can be (and probably
> will
> be) changed on the fly by the product's customers?

I've had to work in a number of these kinds of situations. Here's
some of my (brief) thoughts:

* There's usually a lot of work done on the modules that are being
assebled on the fly by customers/professional services/etc. Has
everything been done to make sure that these modules behave
consistently, that they're individually attractive, accessible and
usable.
* How are the designers contributing to the design of the framework?
What options are available for laying out the modules? Are there
consistent elements beyond the modules (navigation, search, etc...)?
* Look at how the designers can contribute to the process of
customization. How are modules found (browse, search)? What meta-data
is presented? What are the decision making criteria customers use in
assembling applications? What can be done to make the process of
assembling components easier/quicker?

And the question that I usually have to ask in these situations:

Is it really necessary to have an open ended process for
configuration? Would it be possible to identify some small number of
applications that are a good fit for specific roles or tasks and just
build those (perhaps with some _small_ degree of customization
available via preferences)?

Too often open-ended frameworks (or applications with boatloads of
preferences) are a sign that nobody was willing to make hard
decisions about what they're building/selling.

Chris Hunter
chunter at wondertwinpowers.net

24 Apr 2007 - 5:25pm
Bruce Esrig
2006

For another example that raises this issue in a possibly more-severe way,
consider zude.com, where the user can drag in entire windows from
applications and web sites, and use them "locally" within a web-based Zude
page.

What are the constraints on users meeting their own needs?

1. The individual components still need to be designed.
2. Some combinations or arrangements of components may need to be promoted
as packages.

Still, it is sobering: if we win the battle to permit easy customization,
can users learn to design their own solutions?

That's a sort of breezy high-level response. I also have technical
questions: I'm not sure how "declarative" you mean. Is the development
environment declarative, so that a language is provided in which the
components to be provided are simply named? Is the run-time environment
highly customizable, so that users can add named components to pools (such
as tabs) and then arrange them? It sounds as though these two go together.
What programming environments raise this issue?

Best wishes,

Bruce Esrig
Madison, New Jersey

At 05:32 PM 4/24/2007, Billie Mandel wrote:
>Hi all -
>
>Question of the day: if the development process of your product is using
>a declarative UI strategy, what does that mean for the UX design team -
>assuming the designers are not, in fact, the same people as the
>developers?
>
>How do designers work within that strategic framework? What's our
>value, if everything is so modularized that it can be (and probably will
>be) changed on the fly by the product's customers?
>
>Thoughts?
>
>Cheers,
>- Billie
>
>
>* * * * * * *
>Billie Mandel
>Manager, User Experience Design & Research
>OPENWAVE
>billie.mandel at openwave.com

24 Apr 2007 - 7:11pm
Donna Maurer
2003

My question of the day: what is a declarative UI strategy.

It is entirely possible I have just finished working on one of these
without thinking of it this way...if so, I do have some ideas on how it
fits with UX design.

Donna

Billie Mandel wrote:
> Hi all -
>
> Question of the day: if the development process of your product is using
> a declarative UI strategy, what does that mean for the UX design team -
> assuming the designers are not, in fact, the same people as the
> developers?
>
> How do designers work within that strategic framework? What's our
> value, if everything is so modularized that it can be (and probably will
> be) changed on the fly by the product's customers?
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Cheers,
> - Billie
>

--
Donna Maurer
Maadmob Interaction Design
e: donna at maadmob.net
web: http://maadmob.net/maadmob_id/
book: http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/

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